Earlier this summer, I contributed a blog about making moves to better your career, family and financial position. (See Make Career Choices That Challenge You and Build Character.) After I wrote the blog, I began thinking about what a commitment to our careers means for our loved ones. In the past, when I was presented with an opportunity to either advance my career, travel or expose myself to other cultures I was only taking myself only into consideration.
This most recent relocation, however, wasn’t just mine. I am in a relationship with an amazing woman named Blair who made this move with me. Throughout the interview process, she and I traveled to look at housing. I was routinely in meetings preparing myself for a new club. We had a never-ending checklist.
She was continually supportive, upbeat when I was overwhelmed, and encouraging when I feared the unknown.
When hearing about a chef leaving a club for another, there is an unexplained “buzz in the air.” We tend to talk about the chef, what caused the move, why he or she chose this new position, and what members can expect from them. But it’s worth noting that many of us make a career move for the people in our lives who motivate, support, encourage, inspire and love us. These people are the dishwashers of our lives. They are the backbone behind why a chef does the things he or she does. They are the ones who give it to us straight when our egos get in the way (and they do…a lot). They are the ones who hold things down at home while we miss a birthday or family event. They are the ones who run the household while we have a three-wedding weekend. Our significant others are much more than the term. They are everything, and we must show gratitude for their support.
While writing this, I can’t help but think about all the things Blair does that I may miss because of my schedule and career-absorbed mindset. Who do I think takes out our dogs while I’m on a 15-hr shift? How do our new floors in our new house stay looking new? How do we always have raspberry sorbet (obviously my thing)? It’s her!
It’s easy to get caught up in this lifestyle—and I love my job. However, I am more successful because of her and her support and I must find ways to show her how much that support means to me. Great chefs don’t become great by doing everything themselves. They can accomplish great things because of the support system they’ve built within the FRP-lined walls of our kitchens. Similarly, we cannot do these great things without a strong support system outside these walls. Whether that is your family, friends, or significant other, show and tell those people how much you value them and how much they contribute to the chef you are working to become.